Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Appearance: Both beardy wierdy and fundamentalist insurgent will appear similar at first. Both will be bearded and emit an odor that will evacuate a room. This is why many beer festivals are held in tents, and why the Taliban live in the desert. In general fundamentalists will be wearing a tea towelesque head piece. Real Ale types may be observed in the optional flat cap.
Religious beliefs: Real ale types believe in CAMRA whilst terrorists generally believe in Islam. Both will spit out similar mantra that they have been brainwashed with.
Employment: Whilst most Taliban members have a moral objection to beer, they think it is OK to cultivate opiates and heroin for a living. I suspect that real ale die hards are unemployed and live at home with their parents and several hundred cats.
Accessories: Real ale types will often be observed wearing many badges of honour, a plastic bag and a pewter mug attached to their belt. Taliban insurgents can generally be observed carrying an RPG or AK47.
As you can see there are some subtle differences between these two unusual stereotypes and with a little practice you will be able to identify each variant. These people do exist, so please excersize caution and do not approach by any means.
I won't intellectualize each beer individually but concentrate on their differences.
Colour: They are both amber, but the LCPA seems to be slightly lighter in colour.
Carbonation: The LCPA has only very mild carbonation, although this could be a consistency issue. Bottles I have had in the past have been more carbonated. The SNPA was strongly carbonated at a level similar to US mega lager.
Aroma: Both had a similar citrus aroma, however the LCPA's was stronger and contained a pineapple/passionfruit note which was absent from the SNPA. I think LC uses chinook hops as well as cascade.
Body/mouthfeel/taste: I am lumping all these together. Overall they taste different. SNPA is very malty and has a chalk like bite. I think they use water that is a lot harder than the water used in LCPA. SNPA tastes a lot more bitter (perceived bitterness) because of this as well, but I bet these beers have very similar IBU levels. The LCPA tastes thinner, but more refreshing. You could drink more of it.
Which beer is better? Well they are both awesome beers, but different animals in the glass. If I was only having one beer and sipping on it, I would choose the SNPA. If I was drinking all day long in the Australian sun, then I would choose LCPA.
I should also note that I have deliberately called these beers IPA's rather than APA's. Although both of these beers appear to use American hops and would fall within the style guidelines for an APA - they are basically IPA's. Style guidelines are stupid - keep it simple.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The story starts with me salivating at my desk at 4.30pm hanging to get down to the pub for some more of the Tetley's Dark Mild which I had sampled over lunch time. I had a slight problem though - the office had cleared out and I would have to drink alone. Usually not a problem as I know several regulars at a few of the pubs around the office, but since having a borderline argument with one such twat over my lunchtime pint I retreated home collecting a few bottles from Waitrose on the way. Once home, I contacted the Missus to see how long she will be whilst I poured myself a pint of St Peter's IPA.
"I am playing winglady for Tracy*" was the reply from the other end of my mobile, "she has met a really hot guy and I'm facilitating. I am having one more drink."
Fair enough I thought, Tracy is a nice enough 30 something spinster who deserves to be happy too. So I booted up my PC and happily watched episode 6 of "Oz and James" on BBC iPlayer. I had to pause my viewing twice; once to visit the dunny, the second time to get another beer. It seemed as good a time as any to crack the bottle of Cooper's Vintage Ale 2007 reserve that I picked up in Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago. This beer was good. Actually very good, and it was nice to taste a beer brewed with Australian water. It's the terroir I tell myself while absorbing Oz Clark's attempts to intellectualize beer while James May tries to pass whitty criticisms. The iplayer viewing ends and it is time for another beer. They were going down rather easy. First the 5.5% IPA followed by the 7.5% Australian strong ale - a Fuller's ESB was exactly what I needed. There was nothing interesting on the TV so I watched the second episode of "Ross Kemp: Return to Afghanistan." I check my watch, still no sign of the missus. It's pushing 8.30 now so I give her a call - she is on the tube will be home in 20 minutes. Great I scheme, rubbing my hands together like an evil villain - plenty of time to drink that bottle of Budvar dark I have stashed in the vegetable crisper.
By the time the missus arrived home I was starting to feel a little tipsy, and she was not in much better condition. I decided a curry would be the cure, so we trotted out to my favourite London restaurant: "The Raj of India" - home of the best Kingfisher this side of Favisham. By the time we left the restaurant I was pretty pissed, but boy did I have fun even if I was drinking alone for most of the evening. I'll let you know if Tracy ended up pulling when more info comes to hand - it is probably more interesting than my Friday night was, but I thought I would share anyway.
* Name changed to protect the innocent!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
- Always keep your beer in your hand, touching your plate or as close to the edge of the table as possible. Don't leave it in the middle of the table as this can become confusing when many people are drinking at the table.
- Free beer should always be consumed at a pace greater than that of a beer which had been bought by you or someone in your shouting party.
- Never accept a beer if you do not intend to shout on that evening. Shouting "next time" is not acceptable no matter how much interest is involved. This leaves the rest of your drinking party agitated and they will say bad things about you after you leave, or if they've had a few this may lead to violence.
- Even worse than the previous rule is accepting beers from the drinking party and then just buying one for yourself when it is your turn. If you make it home without at least one broken bone you should consider yourself lucky!
- If you are falling behind in the rounds, complaining that you ate too much is not a legitimate excuse. You should have foreseen the night of drinking ahead and not filled your beer stomach with food. The beer stomach must be kept separate from the food stomach at all times.
- If the beer is served in a stubbie, pouring it into a glass to drink is simply not acceptable.
- It is a well understood obligation that slower drinkers in a shout must attempt to keep pace with the faster members of a shout, so as to avoid bad feelings and cries of "Hurry up," "Beer Queer," etc.
- Changing drinks on people during a shout is considered poor form. I.e., shouting everyone VBs then asking for a Crownie or other "boutique" beer on the return leg.
- Guinness is to be served in an appropriate receptacle, i.e. a pint glass. Anything else is simply unacceptable.
- When drinking, it is bad manners to talk up your drinking ability when you are not going to perform. This includes the oft observed phrase, "I may not be able to drink much beer, but I'd kill you on Vodka / Bourbon / Scotch," etc.
- NEVER, EVER drink so slow as to allow a beer to warm up.
- Beer from a tap must be drunk in the largest available beer glass of the establishment at all times, e.g. middie to be superseded by a schooner, pint to be superseded by a stein.
- Toohey's or any brand of American beer should never be attempted to passed off as actual beer, unless obvious insult to the recipient/recipients is intended.
- One's perceived beer drinking ability should not be in any way overshadowed by the frequency with which one visits the lavatory for urinary purposes. The idea is beer consumption, not beer retention.
- Stubbies must always be bought over cans unless there is storage or transport issues.
Knocking over someone else's beer will only be tolerated if there is a full replacement on the table in an acceptable amount of time.
- Ambient temperature has no bearing whatsoever on the desire to consume beer. The day being "too cold" is never an excuse to get out of beer drinking.
- No matter how much money is earned by each of the party members the same shouting rules apply, unless one of the more "well-off" members insists on re-shouting. However, this in no way implies a future obligation to repeat the form.
When in Australia, if you follow these simple rules and you will be OK.
Moving from Australian beer to UK beer. I have to commend Jeff on the delicious pint of Tetley's Dark Mild (3.2% abv) I had during my lunch hour today. A rare beer to see in London and a beer that is actually improved by the use of a sparkler. I also had some draught Sierra Nevada Pale Ale last night at Bodean's BBQ. For those who have not heard of this restaurant chain, they serve mediocre Kansas City, MO style BBQ and SNPA on draught. Pity it cost me £5.95 per pint though!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
For those interested the beer was pretty uninspiring, but I guess most of you know that already...
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
I am currently reading his bestseller 'Gangs' which accompanies his BAFTA winning documentary series "Ross Kemp on Gangs", hence my compulsion to scribe this post.
Why am I writing this in a beer blog you may ask? Well basically Kemp also likes to sip a few a few beers down. His local used to be the Tower Arms in South Weald, Essex, but as he now lives in Battersea I assume he no longer drinks there. I am also proud to announce that Kemp has volunteered to be the standover man and enforcer of CAMEL. Beardy Weirdies should be very afraid!
You can find Kemp's official website here. I am also willing to overlook the fact hat he was beaten up by his wife, Sun editor Rebekah Wade. She must be a hard lady.
Also for those of you who may be interested, the Bangers and Mash I had for lunch was excellent and maybe on par with my steak and ale pie. The Thwaites Nutty Black was alright as well.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I also watched the 'Celebrity come dine with me' omnibus whilst preparing and eating my creation. I was backing Abi Titmuss to win. Sadly she did not, but it was entertaining. She is surprisingly bright as well as being attractive. The fact that she swings both ways is a bonus. A top bird.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
To all those people in Australia complaining about the heat wave I have four words - Harden the f@%k up......